The mix-up has been attributed to journalists misinterpreting a report in the Italian newspaper Corriere delle Sera that quoted Pope Paul VI in 1978 as background to a story about Pope Francis.
Vatican’s deputy spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, told the Reuters news agency, that Pope Francis has not laid out yet his position on animals in detail, preferring to focus on global poverty.
But dog lovers still have reason to believe their dearly departed dogs still found their way to heaven. The Vatican said declarations by previous Pope still stand until they are overruled by new popes.